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Thursday, 15 June 2017

EU set to scrap tariffs on Japanese car parts

The European Union is ready to propose immediately scrapping import tariffs on most Japanese car parts in trade negotiations now under way, according to the Nikkei daily quoted by Reuters on 15 June. In return the EU will press Japan to reduce or abolish tariffs on agricultural products - a step which would face considerable opposition in Japan, demonstrating rather nicely the sort of thing that goes on in international trade negotiations. A tempting offer, with a difficult quid pro quo in return - there's going to be a lot of this going in as Brexit talks get under way, starting on Monday 19th.

The Nikkei goes on to say that Japanese and European negotiators are continuing talks, which began in 2013, in Tokyo to reach a broad deal on signing an economic partnership agreement in early July. Such a deal is one of the key goals of premier Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" stimulus programs and growth strategy to revive the country's stagnant economy. The EU accounts for about a tenth of Japan's foreign trade, and at present the EU imposes a tariff around 3 to 4 per cent on parts and 10 per cent on cars imported from Japan.

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